Friday, August 30, 2013

Stress and Weight Gain

You’ve just lost your job, your daughter came home with pink hair, the debt pile is getting higher and higher and your son needs braces on his teeth. So…do you run to or away from the refrigerator?

It’s a fact, people who are under a lot of stress tend to do one of two things – either they eat more or they eat less. But despite what they do, more often than not, people under stress gain weight!

The body’s response to stress is a release of adrenaline which triggers the “fight or flight” response in your body. You’re highly energized to either fight the immediate danger (stress) or run away from it! Another hormone, known as corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) is released at the same time, along with cortisol. These elevated levels of adrenaline and CRH decrease your appetite at first, but unfortunately, this response is short–lived.

The purpose of cortisol is to increase your appetite after an immediate danger (stressor) has passed. The trouble is, with chronic stress, your body is in a perpetual state of “fight or flight,” meaning more and more cortisol is being produced, thereby increasing your appetite. And even if you don’t eat more…the mere presence of this hormone slows down your metabolism and tends to cause fat retention, especially around the midsection!
So…what can you do when stressed to combat weight gain?
  • Get proper rest – cortisol levels rise when you lose sleep and you may feel hungrier than you would with proper rest!
  • Take a walk – even if it’s only for 15–20 minutes several times a week. Exercise releases “good” hormones that make you feel better and reduce stress and it burns calories – so it offers 2-for-1 benefits!
  • Eat six smaller meals a day and keep the diet healthy! This helps keep your blood sugar (insulin) and cortisol levels in check.
  • Find ways to relax – yoga, meditation, sitting on a beach, reading a good book, watching a movie that makes you laugh – this works like exercise to reduce stress by producing positive brain chemicals!
  • Laugh – no matter what – always find reasons to laugh! Watch a funny movie or an old television program; go out with friends you enjoy – laughing also releases the “good” brain chemicals that relieve stress.
Just keep in mind, nothing lasts forever. There’s a saying, “This too shall pass.” The stress will go away eventually, that is for sure.  However, the damage that occurs to our body may not!  Just try to minimize the weighty effects it can have on you while it’s around!

Now get on the move!  It's time to move forward to a healthier lifestyle.  Many of you, if not all, have thought about increasing, or starting to, exercise as a personal goal.  I ask you, where are you with that goal?  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Real Experiences from Real People

Did you know that back pain affects 60 to 80 percent of U.S. adults at some time during their lives, and up to 50 percent have back pain within a given year? 26 to 52% of all golfers have lower back pain, 30% play with lower back pain at any given time.  Lastly, 49% of all work absences are due to back, shoulder and neck pain. And, we thought it was the common cold. 
Musculoskeletal disorders rank as the No.1 cause of work absences lasting three days or longer, according to a study last year by the Work Foundation in London.  These conditions include pain in the neck, back, shoulders, and arms, topping stress and anxiety in the No.2 spot and minor illnesses like headaches and upset stomach at No.3. 
The survey included all types of workers, so it wasn’t just heavy-lifting factory hands spending their sick days.  Researchers recommended ‘prevention and intervention’…. No kidding!!! 
Effective treatments for musculoskeletal problems involve treatment in a chiropractor’s office, bottom line.  The unfortunate fact is that too many individuals wait for major negative health signals to occur before moving proper spinal health up on their priority list.  Read the stories of these two individuals whose common musculoskeletal issues created enough urgency to take action. 
Meet Jacob May, son of Curtis and Sue May, an Oak Mountain High School student and football player.  He’s a young developing athlete and power house.  Playing football has been part of his entire life, as has been the injuries.  For most, no blood, guts or broken bones… you’re fine get back in it.  For those knowing Jacob, playing the game was the ‘it’. 
However, Curtis began noticing Jacob being off his game.  “He has always had great motor skills but he would appear off balance. You would see him be explosive on one play and the next play he would be hesitant and slower.  It was obvious he was struggling with his back.”  Curtis knew that college and pro level players utilize Chiropractic Services to maintain their physical ability sharp and ensure their focus is clear for every game. For his son, “Chiropractic was the logical route for us to go”.
During the consultation it was revealed that Jacob also suffered from severe headaches among other health issues.  His mom Sue being a nurse at first was skeptical about the correlation of his spinal structural compromises coinciding with Jacob’s symptoms.  However, if this could help their son, she was all for it! 
As expected, with proper corrective Chiropractic care Jacob regained his strength, agility and powerful lower body force to not only have a great competitive senior season but nail the final play of the last game.  If you ask Curtis or Jacob their thoughts about Chiropractic care for teenage athletes there comments are “I think everyone should consider Chiropractic care to resolve problems but more importantly to give your kid the chance to play at their best.”  
Next, there is Sylvia Drummond Hoehn, a vibrant and active 70 year old.  She’s a mother of four and grandmother of several more.  She could have spent her last 30 years in a wheel chair due to severe lower back pain and arthritis if it weren’t for a recommendation by a physical therapist to pursue Chiropractic care.  It is amazing to hear.
“Chiropractic saved my life” Sylvia will be quick to tell you.  In her mid 30’s after having her kids, she started losing the feeling of her left side and having severe lower back pain.  According to Sylvia, the pain became intense and debilitating.  After multiple doctor appointments, variety of tests and several second opinions, she was recommended surgery by three different doctors.  She was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis. At this time, Ms. Sylvia couldn’t afford the necessary recovery time due to the rising of her young children.  Therefore, she refused the surgery recommendations and proceeded to Mayo clinic for more acceptable answers to her health issues.   
Once there, “every test known to man was done” Sylvia recalls, “it was very unpleasant but I thought I will have an answer and be fixed”.  After four days of test including two psychological evaluations, she was told there was nothing wrong.  “I couldn’t believe it” she said. “I told them ‘You mean I am loosing the use of my left side and there is nothing wrong’”.  The reason she was given was that due to so many babies in a short period of time her stomach muscles had weakened and physical therapy would help strengthen those muscle regions.   This answer was better than surgery however she was still not satisfied. 
Once back in Birmingham at a physical therapist session, the therapist mentioned she should consider visiting a chiropractor for help with her osteoarthritis. Sylvia was skeptical.  In those days, Sylvia had not heard anything positive about Chiropractic however, “I was desperate, frustrated and decided it beats my alternative’.  She has never looked back since.
"It was a long journey to get back to where I was”. Sylvia remembers that within two months, she was beginning to feel her left side again.  After a short while longer, she was back to doing things with her kids that she was unable to do for a long time.  Throughout the years, Sylvia continued her Chiropractic care as a lifestyle habit.  “I played golf, tennis, raised my kids and traveled, which I thought would never happen again”.  
“Most of our society does not understand chiropractic, but I can assure you it works. When I think I could have been in a wheel chair for the past 30 years it is frightening.”  Sylvia is right.  Many in our community need to consider prevention and intervention from a natural proactive non invasive approach like chiropractic.  The Chiropractic approach and lifestyle is congruent with the message of prevention of health issues and intervention when present.  Like these two stories, millions have chosen Chiropractic care as a vehicle to maximize their health and live lives of significance.
Take time to ask yourself, what are your intentions for your life?  How do you expect your health to play out in the years ahead?  Decide this year to step through a wellness oriented chiropractor for a break through with your health.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Freight Train

Every once in awhile, a practice member will ask us when a certain symptom or complaint will begin to resolve.  Even though they understand that they are here to facilitate the process of regaining function, re-establishing their brain-body connection and then growing consistently stronger each day, they still have some concerns about when they will begin to feel better.  I would like to answer this by first reminding you that everything in life is a process.  This includes both the process of growing stronger (healing) and the process of getting weaker (dying).  And, all processes require time.  I would like to answer the question more specifically with a metaphor called “The Freight Train.”

Let’s pretend you are traveling in a freight train at 60 miles per hour, when suddenly you realize you have been going in the wrong direction.  Coming to a conscious awareness of this fact is the first important step in changing it, but concrete action steps are still required to do something about changing your situation.  Because your movement is a process that has some momentum, it is impossible to change your direction immediately.  The first thing to do is stop going the wrong way.  The best way to do this is to apply a positive force in the form of the brake.  This slows the train over time, and eventually stops your momentum in the wrong direction.

Next, you reverse your force so that you are actually producing what you want (to go in the opposite direction).  Slowly at first, then with increasing speed, you begin to travel back in the direction you came from.  After a while, you reach the place where you first realized you were going the wrong way.  Then you continue past that point until you reach the place where you started going the wrong way.  Finally, you gain the momentum needed to keep moving steadily toward your ultimate goal.

When you began your care here, you were going in a specific direction.  This direction was very likely opposite to what you desired.  In the freight train example, you would have been moving toward sickness, aging and death.  We have begun applying a positive force to move you in the direction you want to go.  This positive force is in the form of the chiropractic adjustment, which increases the expression of your Total Natural Health by restoring alignment and function in your spine and re-establishing the connection and communication between your brain and all the cells of your body.

Just like our train, the first thing that must happen is a slowing down and stopping of the momentum in the wrong direction.  We identify this as an increased ability to adapt to all of the physical, chemical and mental stresses you encounter each day.  Only then can a reversal (healing) occur and begin moving you in the right direction, toward growth and the full expression of health and Life!

The thing to get from this story is that everything is a process.  You have begun the process of moving toward what you want, but it will take time to see some of the specific results you are hoping for. 

One last thing, just like that freight train, as long as you keep applying a positive force in the direction you want to go, you will eventually go far past the point where your sickness process began and move toward bigger and brighter horizons than you may have been able to even imagine before.   You see, like everything else in life, your health development is a continual process.   And as such, there is no “final destination!”

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Back to school should not be such a pain in the back!

Everyone who has a mother has endured the lectures on posture; stand up straight, sit up straight, don't slouch! As much as we have rolled our eyes in annoyance and exacerbation, it turns out that mom was more right than we knew. Now you are hearing the same thing from your doctors, especially your chiropractor.

So what is the big deal? The big deal is that it has to do with a lifetime of health. Poor posture obviously can cause back pain, but it affects us in ways that most of us don't even realize. Fatigue is one example. Did you know if you are not practicing good posture you are using more muscle groups to maintain that position which means you get tired quicker. Even more importantly, a slouching posture causes shallow breathing. This is the beginning of more serious problems than fatigue. Oxygen deficiency will result, causing decreased awareness, ability to concentrate and overall blood circulation possibly affecting ones academic performance. Decreased circulation and oxygen deficiency also make a person more susceptible to diseases, including cancer.

Poor posture is a serious concern for all individuals and everyone needs to be aware of what contributes to poor posture. Consequently the causes, like subluxations (what your chiropractor finds), loss of proprioception (knowing where your body is in space), weak or unbalanced muscle groups, poor eyesight, weight problems, psychological factors, and injuries, need to be addressed with the same level of seriousness as the poor posture they can cause. Although I would love to spend time on all of these, it simply isn't possible. What I do want to shed some light on is how the back pack that our children carry to and from class every day has the potential to create four of these causes.

According to a recent survey, children's backpacks are usually packed with 17-30% of a child's body weight. If we do the math that means that a 90-pound child would be carrying 15-27 pounds! For a 140 pound adult that would be 24-42 pounds! That's a lot of additional stress on the body. Your child "may not" be overweight at all, but the added weight of a backpack poses a serious threat to their health and welfare.  For example:

o       It can prevent normal spinal development and posture, resulting in back pain and altered mental performance.

o       Backpacks also affect the normal gait cycle of the individual carrying it, which again causes a change in the normal way the body moves and adds stress.

o       It also causes a child to be "top heavy". Although this is not a loss of proprioception, it is an alteration in the proprioception that will cause a forward lean of the head and trunk, a slouching posture.  Which is also prevalent from endless hours of electronic gaming not just from backpacks?  

o       Increased risk of falls and subsequent injuries is the result of a child with an overloaded pack that creates "top heaviness" because the pack will create a center of gravity behind them (pulling them backwards).

o       An imbalance in the muscles will also develop in a child that is carrying a bag that is either too heavy or carrying a pack only on one shoulder. This is again a cause of poor posture.

o       Last but certainly not least is subluxation. The added weight of a backpack has been demonstrated to cause altered spinal motions which in turn cause the spine to subluxate more easily and frequently.

Now coming from a chiropractic point of view, I would argue this last point to be by far the greatest risk to your child's health.  Think of it this way, spinal subluxations are to our children's spine as cavities are to our children's teeth.  If gone untreated can result in deterioration and come with a significant price tag to resolve.  Early detection of subluxations, again as with cavities, is key to resolve the issue early and promote long-term health.

If you would like to see first hand the effect your child's backpack has on their posture, consider a visual postural analysis activity.  Have your child pack their backpack with the typical amount of books they would carry throughout the day at school.  Have them stand in front of a panel door and take their picture facing you and another of the profile.  Then take another set of pictures in the same positions without their backpack.  Please note, this is not a time to panic, simply look at how your child has to over compensate for the weight and how it is affecting their posture.  If you would like a more comprehensive test performed, this is the time to contact us at Chiropractic Today where we will perform a comprehensive Postural Analysis as well as an EMG & Thermo graphic exam which will provide a complete picture of your child's spinal health.

So don't just tell your child to stand up straight, it's just not good enough any more. Consider the backpack that your child is using for this school year and make the necessary changes that will protect their health.  Remember, make sure that your child's backpack does not exceed 10% to 15% of the child's total body weight (10% for the younger child, 15% for the older).

Other helpful tips:
·         Don't get your child a pack that has only one strap.

·         Buy a pack with wide "S" shaped straps that are padded and preferably one that has a built in back support or lumbar pillow and waist or chest straps.

·         Require that your child wear both straps on their shoulders to distribute weight evenly.

·         Pack the book bag evenly with the heavier items close to the spine.

·         When lifting a bag, take the time to do it safely and correctly, i.e. with your legs.

·         Have your child examined quarterly or no less than twice a year by a chiropractor so any potential problems will be detected early!

As parents, our biggest responsibility is guiding our children to live a productive, sound and successful adult life.  Taking the time to instill healthy habits such as regular Chiropractic care will be one of many things they will thank you for later, trust me.  I know I thanked my parents, hence why I am a Chiropractor today.  If you would like to know more, I encourage you to go to my web page ( to read my story.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Corporate Stock worth Buying

You are the CEO of your own personal enterprise. In addition to whatever business you might be running or might be in, your personal corporation consists of the value you generate during your time on Earth.

Some persons such as government officials make choices and take actions that obviously affect the lives of many others. For most of us it may seem that we have less scope and reduced impact, but that is not necessarily so. Our choices and actions affect those people closest to us - our family, friends, and colleagues - and their choices and actions affect persons closest to them. An ever-widening series of ripples continues to flow, affecting more and more people, all stemming from the actions we take and the choices we make today.  As B.J Palmer said early on, “You never know how something you say, think or do will affect lives of millions tomorrow.”  If we haven't recognized this potential and this power, all that's required is raising our gaze to the horizon and widening our field of view.

In order for a corporation - a personal corporation - to be effective it needs to have a sound balance sheet. If there's a lot of red ink it's going to be difficult to be able to provide goods and services. Depletion of resources leads to depletion of energy. We need to provide a steady stream of raw materials so we're able to create new products that are desired in the marketplace.

Our personal corporations require specific raw materials.
·         Healthful, nutritious food
·         Regular vigorous exercise      
·         Sufficient rest
·         A positive mental attitude
·         A fully functioning Nervous System and Spine – CRITICAL
If we're not receiving sufficient amounts of any of these inputs, the debit side of our balance sheet increases. We don't have enough energy to accomplish our daily tasks, let alone do the things that will make our corporation and lives profitable. With sufficient inputs we have energy to spare and our corporation thrives.

What are some of the outputs a healthy personal corporation provides? Everything we all want, a healthy, happy family and life. Also, other things like: a creative work environment, ongoing engagement in rewarding social activities, an ongoing experience of accomplishment, positive self-expression, peace and joy. Simply put, an opportunity to live a life of significance and leave a lasting legacy to those left behind!

Therefore, in order for our personal corporation to continue to grow and prosper, its basic needs must be met.  It's important to have all departments working efficiently and effectively. Similar to an accountant reviewing the financial health of a corporation, Chiropractic reviews its physical health. "Adjustments" are made wherever and whenever necessary, enabling your personal corporation to continue to evolve and prosper toward the profit center, the green wellness zone.

This zone is where the major profit and return on your investment lies. Striving for the green will yield a quality of life superior than the other colored zones.  Wellness oriented chiropractors are driven to improve this bottom line. The objective is to assist, lead, and guide entire families and communities toward living in the green zone, a wellness lifestyle. Surely the alternative does not look attractive?

Side note:  keep in mind, the red or green direction is a choice. You either actively pursue and enjoy the fruits of your labor or you passively live the average American lifestyle and become an unfortunate statistic. 

As always, the beginning of the year motivates everyone to start moving toward being ‘healthier’.  Some may even have a game plan; however, few have a chiropractor on their team.  Therefore, shortly after a few weeks, it’s put aside due to injury, motivation or life.  Make this year different by doing something different, GO TO A WELLNESS ORIENTED CHIROPRACTOR!  It’s your partner in getting from point to point with the end result being a life we are genetically programmed to live. A life filled with health, vitality, happiness and endless possibilities.  Isn’t this the mindset and example we want to instill in our children?  Imagine the difference it can have in all the areas of your life?  More profitability, more energy, and available resources to ensure you become part of the solution and not a statistic!   

Make THIS the year YOU dictate your direction. BE proactive and take the following steps.

1.      Relax. Restoring one's health is possible.  The body is continuously changing.  Adding positive health habits will yield the results we all want and drive you toward the wellness green zone, regardless of your current standing.

2.      Decision or denial?  Whether you are consciously aware of it or totally oblivious of the following fact, your awareness of health has an impact on your direction.  Our human body requires an interference free nervous system and spine so that you can achieve higher levels of health and well being.  Our human body’s health is constantly improving or digressing.  This is a fact and here’ another one, our lifestyle choices drive the direction. Therefore, spend more time each day getting stronger with positive choices and through the INSIDE OUT approach chiropractic offers.

3.      Contact our office or a wellness oriented chiropractor local to you to develop a winning game plan for you and your family to succeed in 2010.

4.      Sign up for our free community newsletter on our new interactive website.  Loaded with video exercises, articles, advice and recommendations on how to drive you toward the wellness green zone.      

Lastly, realize there is a non disputable truth regarding the human body.  Chiropractors have been educating and lecturing the masses for over 100 years toward the truth that the human body's God given intelligence is genetically programmed to strive for health, balance and homeostasis.  Being healthy and balanced requires accountability, personal responsibility and knowledgeable choices.  Chiropractic care is the natural non invasive, gentle and proactive solution because the goal of a wellness oriented chiropractor is clear.  Drive as many as possible toward the destination of HEALTH and WELLNESS.  

This year choose to be proactive by being part of the solution to our National Healthcare problem.  Understand that the Chiropractic Wellness Lifestyle is the solution. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Chiropractic Approach to Inside – Out Health Dr. Irma Palmer

As a wellness oriented Chiropractor specializing in total natural health, many enter my office looking for a new beginning with their health. I believe this journey is best approached from the inside out, where many of our health answers lie anyway. 

Health from the inside out isn't complicated.  Our bodies, designed by God, are self healing and regulating.  Examples of this truth exist all around us as when you cut your finger, your body mends it.  Therefore our body's natural state of health is powered by an amazingly designed nervous system.  This nervous system controls and coordinates all functions and systems of the human body from birth to our last breath.

Our brain, spinal cord and nervous system provide the electricity and conduit that allows the body to function 100 %, as God intended. However, should something interfere with this communication system at any particular level, then proper function will not occur.  For example, people who suffer from stomach and digestive issues have compromises in their middle back region.  The same is true for those who suffer from headaches or arm issues will have some form of compromise in the neck region. 

Have you ever wondered, since the body is able to mend cuts, heal fractured arms, regulate its temperature, maintain proper breathing cycles, etc.  Why can it not heal other health compromises as well?

In the Chiropractic profession we understand the constant truth regarding the body’s ability to heal and regulate. Therefore, when someone walks in with a health problem we also understand the solution resides within them.  It is my objective to determine where and at what level the spine and nervous system is compromised obstructing the proper nervous system flow and thus keeping the person from being as healthy as they were designed to be.   

God gave us everything we need to be happy healthy and productive in this life.  Total natural health via the Chiropractic approach provides a strategy to restoring our health from the inside out.  Remember, the four required lifestyle habits to express health on the outside truly begin on the inside anyway.  These necessities are a properly functioning spine and nervous system, a healthy diet of God’s foods, regular exercise, and lastly a healthy mind, heart and soul.  Follow these habits with your greatest effort and be amazed as your God given potential is restored and your health rejuvenated. 

Experience the remarkable difference chiropractic care can have on your health. Start looking at health from an inside out approach and the possibilities will amaze you.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Simple Truth

Most people go to the doctor because they think they have something they shouldn’t have and want to get rid of.  But over the years, we chiropractors have come to understand that the problem when you aren’t feeling well is NOT that you have something you shouldn’t have and need to get rid of; the problem is really that you have LOST something you need to be healthy and happy.  You see HEALTH (also called “EASE”) is your natural state!   If you are experiencing anything other than ease, it is usually because you have simply LOST something that is necessary for you to maintain ease/health.  Understanding this very simple truth will not only help you get the most out of your chiropractic care, it will also help you and your family to keep growing stronger and healthier for the rest of your lives!

Let’s begin helping you understand this by looking at how your body really works.  There are three things you need to know in order to move consistently toward health, wellness and wholeness.

1)     Every day, your body either gets a little stronger or a little weaker.
2)     In order to get stronger instead of weaker each day, you must have a clear neurological CONNECTION between your brain and your body.
3)     In order to have a clear connection between your brain and your body and keep growing stronger every day, your spine must be properly aligned and functioning normally (because of the intimate connections between your spine and nerve system).

If you understand these three things, you can also understand that if you lose normal alignment or function in your spine, you will also partially lose the CONNECTION between your brain and your body.  This is very important because without proper communication, you lose the ability to purposefully ORGANIZE all of the various parts of your body to work together harmoniously and with EASE.  In other words, you get a little weaker rather than stronger each day and you gradually LOSE your natural state of health/ease.

Chiropractic has only ONE GOAL, which can be summed up in what we call “The 3 R’s.”  Our goal is to;

1)     Help Restore and maintain alignment and function in your spine, in order to…
2)     Re-establish and maintain the neurological CONNECTIONS between your brain and your body, so that…
3)     You can Resume purposefully ORGANIZING all of the parts of your body to work harmoniously together and consistently grow stronger and healthier every day.

And, as you continue growing stronger and healthier every day, you will move consistently from wherever you are right now toward first regaining your natural state of health (EASE), and then keep on moving toward wellness and ultimately into what we call wholeness.

So as we said before, the problem is NOT that you have something you shouldn’t have and need to get rid of; the problem is that you have LOST something you need to be healthy and happy.  HEALTH is your natural state, and if you are experiencing anything other than ease, it is usually because you have LOST your CONNECTION…and our job is very simply…to help you get it back and keep it for Life!

It’s as simple as that!